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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  April 25, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> mrs. griffing has taken only one sick day in her 65 years in the hospital in 1948. onight re n 9/11? new documents reveal what top al qaeda figures were up to as the world trade center burned. i'm katie couric. also tonight, all systems go. congresswoman gabby giffords will attend her husband's shuttle launch on friday. what was her reaction when she got the final go-ahead? >> i think she said "awesome" and pumped her fist one more time. >> couric: mayhem in the middle east. syria's leader orders tanks to attack protesters. in libya, nato flattens one of qaddafi's compounds. and royal romances-- what happens behind the palace walls often changes the course of history. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world
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headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. we all remember where we were on september 11, 2001. but we never knew what the masterminds were doing that terrible day. tonight, we have the answer, contained in more than 700 documents from the u.s. military prison at guantanamo bay and just published by wikileaks. as it turns out, while americans watched in horror as the twin towers burned, al qaeda's top leaders were watching, too. more now from david martin. >> reporter: khalid sheikh mohammed, the plot mastermind, was in karachi, pakistan, watching with ramzi binalshibh. after the success of the attacks, the operatives prostrated themselves and gave thanks to allah, one document says. abd al-rahim al-nashiri, who engineered the bombing of the u.s.s. "cole," couldn't be
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there; he was in a karachi hospital having his tonsils out. al-nashiri may have been the most dedicated of all. he reportedly received injections to promote impotence rather than be distracted by women. the documents say, after 9/11, all the senior operatives left pakistan for afghanistan to meet with osama bin laden, who would watch the attacks from kandahar. bin laden and his deputy, ayman al-zawahiri, spent the next couple months moving about afghanistan by car, finally taking refuge in the tora bora mountains. in mid-december 2001, the two disappeared across the border into pakistan. the others were eventually captured, but not before binalshibh threatened to slit his own throat rather than be taken alive. but you can't believe everything a captured terrorist says. there is one sensational but unconfirmed report that al qaeda had a nuclear bomb it would set
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off if bin laden were ever captured. katie? >> couric: david martin at the pentagon tonight. david, thank you. over the weekend, nearly 500 taliban fighters escaped from a prison in kandahar, the largest in southern afghanistan. a hole in a cell floor led to a thousand-foot tunnel that took months to dig. today, a spokesman for afghan president hamid karzai called the escape a disaster. meanwhile, in syria, nearly 350 anti-government protesters have been killed in recent weeks. today, the white house repeated its demand that president bashar assad stop the slaughter. but today, assad took aim at the southern city where it began. said western journalists that has been barred from syria, barry peterson reports from
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london. >> reporter: as demonstrations escalate, so has the government's force. in dara, army tanks were used for the first time in this uprising against protesters. people in the city could only answer with rocks. this woman was in dara. "bodies on the ground," she says. "my family is dying." it's not just protesters under attack. human rights activists are being hunted down; among them, a lawyer once jailed and tortured by the regime. he's in hiding tonight, and we spoke with him by phone. >> i'm afraid. >> why? >> we don't want to see the blood. more blood in the streets. >> reporter: a syria in turmoil fits perfectly into what experts say al qaeda's leaders want. >> "we can bring down the regime in syria, which many al qaeda people believe is godless and too secular. we'll have a border with israel, and we'll be in a position to really shape the future of the middle east." >> reporter: and yet, despite the bullets, haitham marleh
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believes the protests will continue. you want >> reporter: demands for freedom that now come with an ever- higher price. barry peterson, cbs news, london. >> couric: now to libya, where a nato air strike today wiped out one of moammar qaddafi's compounds in tripoli. nato said it was used to coordinate attacks on libyan civilians. the government says three people died in the attack. meanwhile, east of tripoli, qaddafi forces continued their two-month siege of rebel-held misurata. mandy clark is in the rebel stronghold of benghazi tonight. mandy, does the qaddafi compound bombing mean that nato is stepping up the pressure on qaddafi himself? >> reporter: well, the alliance claimed they were targeting a command-and-control center.
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however, libyan authorities say that it was an attempt to kill qaddafi himself. nato says it's maintaining a high operational tempo and it could be crucial for the alliance, because italy is the closest nato country to libya, right across the mediterranean sea. >> couric: mandy, i know there's also been fierce fighting in the town of misurata. how are the rebels there doing? are they holding on? >> reporter: well, it was another bloody weekend. rebels are now taking back key areas of the cities that were under government control. some of those forces that didn't make it out of the city are now surrounded, and they're essentially behind enemy lines. the rebels are capturing prisoners, and they're discovering some of the fighters are as young as 16 years old, and others are mercenaries from neighboring african countries. >> couric: mandy clark in libya tonight. mandy, thank you. in other news, you often hear the word "remarkable" when doctors describe congresswoman gabrielle giffords' recovery from an assassination attempt in january. cbs news has learned that, this
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week, she'll travel to florida to watch her husband, mark kelly, lift off in the space shuttle, a very important milestone for both of them. >> booster ignition and liftoff of shuttle "discovery." >> fortunately, this is my fourth time going into space, my second time commanding the space shuttle, so it's not like i haven't been here before. >> couric: make no mistake-- mark kelly knows there is nothing routine about being strapped to nearly four million pounds of rocket fuel, riding a controlled explosion into space. >> "discovery"-- houston, go with throttle up. >> roger, throttle up. >> couric: i get nervous getting on an airplane. do you get nervous before a launch? >> you know, maybe just a little bit. you realize what the risk is and... but you're really focused, and there's a lot going on and a lot of things we need to do, so you really need to concentrate and really be on. >> couric: but who could blame
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kelly if he has a little more than trajectories and abort scenarios on his mind when "endeavour" lifts off on friday. have you gotten any word on whether gabby will, in fact, be able to attend the launch? >> yes, i've met with her doctors, her neurosurgeon, and they've given us permission to take her down to the launch. >> couric: wow! >> i'm excited about that. >> couric: i bet you are! what was her reaction when she got the final go-ahead? >> i think she said "awesome" and pumped her first one more time. >> couric: kelly believes his wife may have also been celebrating something else. going to the launch means a brief respite from the daily grind of rehabilitation here at tirr memorial hermann in houston. hard work, he says, that's paying off. >> she does a couple hours of speech therapy every day, as well as physical therapy and occupational therapy, so her communication improves every day or every week. it's just more complex all the time.
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we were sitting there last night playing scrabble. >> couric: really? >> yeah. >> couric: who won? >> well, she and i were on a team and we won. >> couric: can you all have full-out conversations, or are they short? is it... can you just give us a sense of how she's able to interact with you? >> so, not like we are right now. it just takes her some more time. you just have to be really patient, and this experience has taught me a lot of patience. so just giving her time to compose her thoughts and put the words and sentences together is... you know, at this stage in her recovery, it's really what she needs. >> couric: and she can write or... she can use a computer. >> she's right-handed... or was. now, she's writing with her left hand. >> couric: that's because the bullet that tore through giffords' brain entered the left hemisphere, which controls speech and movement on the right side of the body. can she walk without a walker
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yet, or is she pretty much using assistance still? >> yes, she needs assistance to walk. >> couric: there's some very good news-- if you can call it that-- because the right hemisphere controls sort of your cognitive function, your ability to relate to other people, your personality. >> yup. >> couric: and that wasn't damaged. is that right? >> yeah, that's true. so her personality is 100% there. it's difficult for her to walk, and the communication skills are difficult at this point. >> couric: but she is still gabby. >> yeah, absolutely. 100%. >> couric: and that, kelly says, is a major reason he was able to make a guilt-free decision to carry on as commander of the space shuttle "endeavour" after all. even nasa acknowledges the odds that something catastrophic might happen are about one in 75. do you worry about that? >> you've got to make a determination whether it's... is this something you think is worthwhile? and the way i do that is i've got to look at what's the personal risk to me and what's
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the reward to our nation in doing this? i think the space shuttle program and human space flight in general provides a great deal for our country. >> couric: making the decision easier, kelly says, was the support system he and gabby will have back here on earth, including his twin brother and fellow astronaut scott, who was in orbit himself when the tragedy in tucson took place. from space, you led a tribute to the victims, saying "as i look out the window, i see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful..." >> unfortunately, it is not. we are better than this. we must do better. >> couric: why did you use those words? >> you look out the window and you see this incredibly beautiful planet, and we're flying around it every 90 minutes-- you can barely even tell that humans live there, and then when you think about all the bad things that happen and
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all the bad things that people do to one another on such a beautiful planet, it's... you know, it's hard to come to terms with that. >> couric: scott says he's always known mark had the right stuff to carry out his mission, but watching him cope with gabby's life-altering injury has given him even greater respect for his six-minute-older brother. >> no one's walked in his shoes now with having to be the commander of the space shuttle, and also deal with this very significant personal problem that does take a lot of his off- duty time. so it's been quite impressive to watch. >> couric: having gabby giffords in attendance casts an even brighter spotlight on "endeavour's" final flight, something mark kelly will surely be mindful of on friday. >> when i'm sitting on the launch pad, i have a mirror that i'll be able to hold up and look back to where they're watching from. and when i get back in a few weeks, she's going to be
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noticeably different than when i left. i mean, i know that's the case. so it's exciting to see the improvement day to day and week to week. it's really exciting. >> couric: mark tells me gabrielle giffords can't wait to get back to work. her campaign has already raised more than $350,000 for her reelection. coming up next on the "cbs evening new," the london lock- down. the royal wedding invites a major security response. [ robin ] my name is robin. and i was a pack-a-day smoker for 25 years. i do remember sitting down with my boys, and i'm like, "oh, promise mommy you'll never ever pick up a cigarette." i had to quit. ♪ my doctor gave me a prescription for chantix,
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>> couric: 600,000 visitors are expected in london to celebrate friday's royal wedding, but there are major concerns that not all of them will be there to wish prince william and kate middleton well. elizabeth palmer reports on the unprecedented security effort. >> good afternoon. we're currently on route. >> reporter: for weeks, sergeant richard brandon's prying eyes have been scanning the royal wedding route. on the day, this area will be sealed off to the public, with snipers on the rooftops. but in the run-up, his job is to zoom in and check out anything unusual, from workers and
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vehicles to tourist traffic. >> what we're able to do is look into those difficult-to-search areas-- so, roofs of buildings, canyons between buildings. so we're an early warning system. >> reporter: a system in place >> reporter: a system in place from the top down and the ground up. on friday, 5,000 police officers will be on duty, most of them unarmed. but the terrorists are plotting. police say the biggest threats of an attack are from radical irish republicans or al qaeda. and then there are the anarchists, who have vowed to make trouble-- and they've been practicing. last december, they surrounded prince charles and camilla's car in central london, shouting "off with their heads." they've also had a huge police effort going into tracking unstable people, from lovelorn stalkers to political zealots-- in fact, anyone who would find the idea of disrupting the royal
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wedding irresistible, especially with two billion people watching worldwide. the royal family's always been a magnet for the unhinged. there have been 8,000 incidents in just 20 years, including a stalker who pursued princess diana and a student who fired a starting pistol in front of prince charles. even if they mean no harm, any strange behavior with police on high alert can turn ugly fast. >> we've had individuals jump the barrier and try to push flowers through a window. no malice at all in their actions, but for the protection team, if you see somebody running at a vehicle, you've got to make the decision very, very quickly. >> reporter: the vast royal wedding security operation, costing $30 million, is the most expensive in british history, and will be a success if, at the end of the day, it's been barely noticed. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, london. er, cbs news, london.
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>> couric: devastating tornadoes over the weekend are being followed by relentless rain across the nation's mid-section. up to a half-foot is expected to fall by tomorrow night in some places, a soaking rain that cynthia bowers reports could cause serious flooding. >> reporter: they were packing up the furniture and heading for higher ground in poplar bluffs, missouri. after a weekend of heavy rain there, officials caution a catastrophic failure of a levy on the black river is possible.
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>> if the levy was to break, you would have very, very short time to get out of the way. >> reporter: as people across missouri and kentucky prepare for cresting rivers to overflow their banks, it was a day of small victories near st. louis after a weekend of huge losses. >> it's all gone. >> reporter: the home of mary ellen norton-hayes and her family in bridgeton is now just a pile of rubble. the only thing left intact-- her sense of humor. >> well, i thought about downsizing and i often thought about taking a bulldozer to the house. >> reporter: the massive funnel clouds started in the northwest suburbs, slicing through 30 miles, nine cities, damaging or destroying 2,700 buildings before it ended up across the mississippi near granite city, illinois. you can follow the track of this storm from the trail of devastation left behind, including some of the costliest just about four miles that way at the st. louis airport. surveillance video shows employees and travelers scrambling to safety as winds of
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at least 166 miles per hour blew the roof off concourse "c". flights were departing mostly as scheduled today. there are tense days still ahead here in missouri, and in arkansas, kentucky and tennessee. there are more threats of tornadoes from this system, and fears that flooding could happen. in fact, katie, you can see it's pouring now. >> couric: all right. cynthia bowers in missouri tonight. thank you, cynthia. and when we come back, royal marriages through the years: the good, the bad, and the ugly. ugly. we all have internal plumbing. but for some of us with overactive bladder, our pipes just don't work as well as they should. sometimes, i worry my pipes might leak. but i learned there's something more i can do. now, i take care with vesicare.
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launched by atheists. next on cbs 5 two bay area cities fight to keep their fire departments... at 6 >> couric: for a thousand years, the marriages of britain's kings and queens have been the stuff of legend-- and now, a new chapter. as michelle miller reports, the wedding of william and kate will bring joy, and also the hope of avoiding the pitfalls of the past. >> reporter: whether it's the modern-day tale of the commoner marrying her prince, or the old rhyme charting the six brides of henry viii. >> divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.
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>> reporter: the romances and romps of the british monarchy helped shape english history. this is delicious, isn't it? >> they keep doing it over and over again. there's a never-ending supply of them. >> reporter: author leslie carroll has written four books on royal love affairs. rarely is it happily ever after. >> no, it's not! >> reporter: consider the first meeting of george iv with his bride to be, caroline. >> she's a short dumpy thing who is a stranger to toothpowder and washing. >> reporter: george went on a three-day drinking binge that ended when he stumbled down the aisle. >> you didn't marry for love; it was a political alliance. >> reporter: queen mary sobbed uncontrollably as she wed william. >> it was a very inauspicious beginning. >> reporter: the rotten starts were usually followed by scandal. james i fell in love with the duke of buckingham, and edwared
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flandering was so notorious, he was nicknamed "edward the caresser." and charles vii had as many as 19 illegitimate children. royal paramours were treated well. >> they were given jewels and clothes and houses and castles and titles. >> reporter: but it's been the monarchy's strongest marriages upon which a modern britain was built. queen victoria and prince albert; elizabeth ii and prince phillip. now, a new couple is marrying for love, not england. >> it's not a fairy tale, it's a proper love story. they're friends, they're allies. >> reporter: a partnership rewriting a millennium of royal marital history. michelle miller, cbs news, london. >> couric: and that's the "cbs evening news," i'm katie couric. i'll be in london tomorrow for our coverage of the royal wedding; and on friday, the big day, will be on the air at 4:00 a.m. eastern time. thanks for watching. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by
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media access group at wgbh ac [ music ] you're watching cbs 5 eyewitness news in high definition. [ music ] it has come to this. short on money and options. the bay area city that may dissolve the fire department and go private. >> it is almost like you just want to stay home, you know. it's terrible. another burst of violence in oakland. why the scene of the latest shooting has residents feeling like no neighborhood is safe. and read this, the end is near. read another one, not so much. how judgment day reportedly set for next month became a billboard battle above the streets of the bay area. good evening i'm dana king. >> i'm allen martin. think about it, your fire department run by a private company 3,000 miles away. tonight a city on the peninsula may decide that's the way to go in order to save money. philie

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